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19 January 2012

Venture fund backs “first-to-market” B2B development company

Press Release 19th January 2012

A niche B2B consultancy company which helps IT resellers to grow their business has received a significant investment from The North West Fund for Venture Capital, through fund manager EV.

Channel Intellect, which is based in Wirral, works with Cisco Partners throughout the UK to help them develop their business and also advises Cisco on how to get the best from its Partner network. The company's unique portfolio has materially assisted some of Cisco's most recent high-growth Partners to over-achieve against their business plans.

The funding, provided jointly by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) will help to accelerate the company's expansion by recruiting additional resource and to market its e-learning portal for Cisco Partners. As part of its growth strategy, Channel Intellect will be looking to pursue opportunities in overseas markets in association with its key client, Comstor, the UK's leading Cisco distributor.

Cisco is the world's leading networking, voice and data communications business. It has around 4,500 Channel Partners in the UK at different levels of certification.  Channel Intellect, which was founded in 2006 by John Shannon, helps Partners to develop their businesses by gaining higher levels of Cisco certification as well as enhancing their relationship and engagement with Cisco.

John had gained an in-depth knowledge of Cisco's operations through his previous roles, including that at Total Network Solutions, an Oswestry business which he helped to build and which was sold to BT in 2005. He was retained by BT in a senior management role after the sale but decided to 'break out' shortly afterwards to set up his own operation. At formation, he was joined by Non-Executive Chairman Andrew Kitchen, an experienced executive who has also invested in the business.

EV investment director Will Clark said: "Channel Intellect's strategic input and deep knowledge of Cisco's operation allowed it to be first to market with its innovative offering. We have been impressed by the quality of the management team and the quality of the service, reflected in the high level of repeat business. The funding will allow it to scale up the business and pursue growth.

"This is the latest in a series of management break-outs we have backed under The North West Fund for Venture Capital. All of them are highly capable and experienced professionals and in each case, the funding is giving them the backing they need to build their own operation and pursue their own ideas."

Channel Intellect Managing Director, John Shannon, commented: "I am delighted that EV has invested in CI at such an exciting time in the evolution of our business. This additional funding will allow us to accelerate our plans to further develop sales in the UK from our base in the North West and, in line with our clients' expectations, to expand into Europe and the USA. Our program of recruiting high-calibre industry professionals continues apace, fully supported by our new investor." 

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